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6 Actually Interesting Things You Missed in Thursday’s Midterm Races

The midterm elections are in 11 days, and no one cares. Just 15 percent of Americans have said they’re following the races very closely, what with Ebola now in New York City and ISIS abroad, not to mention a new season of Scandal. (Young people are even worse. Damn Instagram.)

For those without the time or untamable wonkiness necessary to track polls for, say, an Iowa Senate race, Intelligencer is rounding up the important, telling, or otherwise absurd moments from the previous long day on the campaign trail. So at least you’ll know these people’s names when they’re running our country next year.


What’s This News About a Tiny, Ecofriendly Nuclear Power-Plant That Could Save the World?

A few days ago, Lockheed Martin announced progress on a design for a nuclear power-plant that can be built at small scale, maybe tractor-trailer-size, and will produce almost no radioactive waste. Lockheed’s team is saying it expects to have a workable reactor within five years. If that were to happen, the world would literally change: The fossil-fuel business would immediately be halfway to obsolescence because electrical power would soon become (as they used to say in the '50s) “too cheap to meter.” Coal would become an antique fuel, used in the odd pizza oven; super-cheap electricity would lead us to retire most gasoline and diesel engines. Carbon pollution, not to mention the politics of oil-producing countries, would become pretty nearly trivial problems.

How it might work. »

Donald Trump Blames Obama for NYC Ebola Case, Calls for His Resignation

After New York City doctor Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola on Thursday evening, many amateur epidemiologists took to Twitter to condemn the Doctors Without Borders physician who volunteered to care for Ebola patients in Guinea. Meanwhile, Nick Muzin, deputy chief of staff to Senator Ted Cruz, suggested the White House was to blame, tweeting, "Before Obamacare, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S." After much mockery, he called the deleted tweet a "bad joke," but in a Twitter rant Donald Trump suggested Muzin didn't go far enough. "If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!" he declared.


Everything We Know About New York City’s Ebola Patient

On Thursday, Dr. Craig Spencer, who had been working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients in Guinea, was rushed to New York's Bellevue Hospital with a high fever. A few hours later, tests confirmed the worst: Spencer has Ebola, making him the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, and the first diagnosed outside of Texas. So far, the situation appears to be under control: Bellevue has been preparing for weeks, Spencer was hospitalized shortly after becoming symptomatic, and officials are already tracking down anyone he may have come into contact with. However, the fact that he went to a bowling alley, took a taxi, and rode the subway on Wednesday night is not likely to calm those already on edge about the virus. Here's what we know about the situation so far.


Cops Kill Ax-Wielding Attacker, Accidentally Shoot Bystander in Bloody Street Fight

A man went after a group of NYPD officers with a hatchet in Queens this afternoon in what the department called a “completely unprovoked attack.” One officer was struck in the head and another in the arm before police chased down and opened fire on the suspect. He died at the scene, the Daily News reports, while a 29-year-old female bystander was hit in the back by a stray bullet, in a chaotic mess on the Jamaica Avenue shopping strip.


This Statistic Shows the Republican Demographic Crisis Is Still Getting Worse

The Pew Research Survey, which is the gold standard of political polling owing to its large sample sizes and careful methodology, has a new survey of the midterm electorate. The headline result shows 47 percent of likely voters planning to vote for the Democratic candidate in their district, against 46 percent planning to vote Republican, which is too small a margin to overcome the Republican tilt of the House map. But the most fascinating result is the continued long-term polarization of the electorate by race.


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